Colonoscopy ends stomach pains and doctors’ searching

Posted On 08 Aug 2013
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by Bob Allen

Most of us have good reasons for putting off certain unpleasant chores, and I have to admit I am guilty.

When the word colonoscopy came up from my primary care doctor several months ago, I shuddered as memories from my first one about 10 years ago, came to mind.

As everyone agrees, the worst part of a colonoscopy is the preparation, and from my first experience, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Well, as it was turning out, I have been having stomach pains for several months and three doctors couldn’t pinpoint the cause.

First there was cutting out my statin drug for cholesterol, then a CT scan was performed.
Dropping the statin didn’t help, and the scan showed a kidney stone and gallstones, neither of which was causing the pain.

So my doctor came back around to having a colonoscopy. I guess he noticed my shuddering and I felt better when he said the preparation has been much improved since my first one.

I had a consultation with the specialist where everything was laid out for me, and son Jimmy took notes. The procedure was set for last Thursday at the Raleigh Endoscopy Center.

I filled my prescription for the “bowel prep kit” and I was pleasantly surprised to learn I only had to drink 16 oz. of water after starting with one 6-oz. bottle of Suprep in a mixing container.

However, even after being instructed to drink 2 more 16-oz. containers of water within the next hour, it was a lot better than what was required my first time.

The above started at 5 p.m. the day before my procedure, and I was to repeat it at 8:30 a.m. the day of the procedure. I am happy to say everything was better this time.

Jimmy arrived right on time to get us there at 12:30 p.m. for my 1 p.m. appointment.
The receptionist said we were lucky because my doctor was right on schedule and we were immediately escorted into the curtained prep room area.

I always like it when someone asks, “Pardon me, but you look like someone I have seen.” This time it was one of the nurses. And I replied, “Oh, you may have seen my ‘mug’ in The Wake Weekly along with my Roving Around column.”

She broke into a wide smile when I solved her puzzle. I learned she was Kathy Anderson from Heritage and that she was a subscriber to our paper. She was very efficient, but I was not quite ready for the pain from inserting the IV tube. I’m used to finger pricks.

The proficient nurse on my other side was Kim Shearon from Louisburg, who took care of more things. I felt mighty important getting all this attention.

And then there was Ken, the anesthesiologist with 30 years experience. I was stumped after he learned I had a bi-valve pro-lapse heart condition for many years, by his asking, what valve? I didn’t know.

And then Ken was wheeling me into the procedure room and I was wondering if he used to be a race car driver from the way he could make sweeping turns through doorways without even a scrape.

I met my doctor this time and before I knew it I had fallen asleep and awoke when the about hour-long procedure and picture taking was over. I didn’t feel a thing.

I turned down an offer to ride in a wheelchair out to the front door where Jimmy was waiting in his car. Instead, a nurse held one arm to make sure I was steady on my feet as she escorted me down the hallways.

I had not eaten anything since a light breakfast on Wednesday morning and now it was 31 hours later. I was anxious to stop at the close by I-Hop Restaurant and order a big breakfast.

Not so, Jimmy reminded me. Breakfast is fine, he told me, but not a big one after such a length of time.
OK. I ordered a breakfast for those over 50 years old, which consisted of two eggs, two pieces of bacon, a sausage link, three pancakes and water.

When I had eaten everything I told Jimmy I could eat anther one of those orders, but he just took my comment in stride, knowing full well it would be too much for my starving stomach after my long fasting.

As for my stomach pain: I don’t have it any more. And I was elated, too, to learn there was no evidence of cancer.

—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or

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